tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 19, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
moammar gadhafi. and if that's the case, it's going to be very hard for the french aircraft to take those out without french spotters on the ground with laser designators or some other technology to enable the tanks to be pinpoint located and pinpoint targeted by the french aircraft. >> general, what was kind of that turning point for you? and by that i mean there were a lot of people watching this situation and didn't necessarily think u.n. action or u.s. action was necessary or something that should happen. what was the turning point for you where you thought, okay, it's time to go? >> well, first of all, i laid out the conditions required, which were the u.n. security council resolution and arab league support. and i saw them being taken. and then i thought about what the consequences were if gadhafi was allowed to continue to use force in defiance of international opinion. and so gadhafi looks like he'll have to be dealt with anyway. but this is the slippery slope of intervention, that many of us
had been warning about for some weeks is the chorus of cries out there, let's go intervene, let's go do something. once you start this, it has to be finished. it will be very hard now to admit and say to gadhafi, okay, well, you got away with it, okay, now you're the leader of libya, we'll buy your oil. so now we've got a state which is at least in appearances seems to be an outlaw state. >> general clark, stand by. i just want to reset here for our viewers as we cross the top of the hour here on the cnn saturday morning of what we've been watching. we just saw nicolas sarkozy step out a few moments ago and tell the world that french fighter jets are in the skies over libya right now trying to impose that no-fly zone that the u.n. security council voted on just thursday night. the french president saying they will take any action necessary and take out the ground forces, will take out tanks on the ground that are going after
libyan people, innocent citizens, he says. here's agent bit of what he had to say a few moments ago. >> translator: participants agreed to use all the necessary means, in particular military means, to enforce the security council decisions. this is why in agreement with our partners our air force will oppose any aggression by colonel gadhafi against the population of benghazi. >> now, the french president went on to say that, in fact, gadhafi could still avoid the worst, also said that the diplomatic doors could be reopened if, in fact, gadhafi did what the u.n. resolution stated, which is to impose an immediate cease-fire and stop attacking libyan citizens. that he could still come back to the diplomatic table. our correspondent jill dougherty
is in paris where she's been traveling with secretary of state hillary clinton. hello to you once again. what will the u.s. role be as it appears this no-fly zone and some actual u.n. intervention is taking place? >> reporter: right. well, it's easier to say in a sense what it won't be. and that is at this point, we understand that the uk, france and canada will be carrying out these first air strikes. and that you can already see that french planes are in the air. the u.s. provides critical support knocking out communications, coordinating, refueling, all sorts of very important thing to ensure that this mission is carried out successfully. i can tell you, t.j., that this has been a very dramatic situation. in the room as the elysees palace in paris, this summit that president sarkozy called, all of the representatives from
europe, the united states, arab countries gathering together and in realtime minute to minute monitoring that situation in libya. getting reports from their military people and realizing that colonel gadhafi, as president sarkozy has said, has ignored all warnings. the french president is saying that as of now, the french planes are preventing the planes of the libyans from attacking the town and that also their aircraft are prepared to intervene against tanks. so right now it's a stand -- it's really, as i said, a dramatic situation where they are carrying this out and telling colonel gadhafi that there could be more to come, that he has to stop any movement against the population of benghazi. then also, t.j., this noise you may hear in the background,
we're preparing for secretary clinton to come in and tell us her view on what the u.s. will be doing. >> if you have to hop off the phone, go ahead. but i have a quick question to ask. >> guys, this is ann curry. >> are you still there, jill? >> reporter: yes, i am. >> the president has strong words about gadhafi calling it murderous madness of a regime that forfeited all legitimacy. then he said that the door could be reopened if he did what the international community wanted him to do. is that the feeling of the unite, that this man could come back to the diplomatic table? >> reporter: i think you have to explain exactly what that means. they have stages here. number one, primary thing is to stop the attacks on the civilian in benghazi. then based on what colonel gadhafi does, if he were to pull back, they might change tactics and strategy.
but at this point, those are two separate things. they need, they say, to stop the violence. ultimately, there's no question that all of this coalition here, these countries that are cooperating, want to see colonel gadhafi step down. you heard from president obama who said he's lost his legitimacy. ultimately if there were some type of negotiation, they would demand that he step down and they're also looking at human rights violations to prosecute him and the people who are around him. but they're really two separate thing. but they're not saying that he would be -- that the leader, the legitimate lead are with whom they would deal and it would be kind of the way it used to be. no. that bridge has been crossed. they still consider him to have lost any type of legitimacy. >> jill dougherty, eye on the story in paris. sounds like a lot of activity there standing by for the secretary of state to come into the room where you are. we'll check in with you again. thanks so much.
we'll turn to eastern libya where so much activity is taking place this morning. arwa damon is in the eastern part of the country right now. we're hearing that french planes are in the skies over libya. i don't know if you see any sign of that or if that's making any kind of a difference. tell us what you are seeing in the reports from benghazi right now. >> reporter: well, t.j., we did hear overhead what this cnn team i'm with believe to be an aircraft. we did not see it. we were looking in the skies with binoculars. we did hear what we believe to be an aircraft. we're on the outskirts of benghazi. sounding much calmer than it did all morning. this morning the city came under heavy artillery bombardment. gadhafi tank firing inside the city itself. we heard various reports of fighting going onned in the city. we spoke to a number of
residents who had fled, manywok sound of fighting. one woman said she woke up to her entire building being spread with armed artillery. flashing the victory sign saying they've won. we keep seeing them firing into the air, celebratory gun tp fire. the fighters telling us that everything is 100%. they said they did manage to drive out gadhafi's forces and they did manage to gain control of the city. that we cannot independently verify at this point. right now the situation does, from my vantage point, appear to be much calmer than it was this morning. >> arwa damon reporting for us where she has been in the eastern part of the country. we do want to bring in our partner and friend, john vause who will be joining us here. >> a huge story. we've been waiting for this
development for quite some time. the french president announcing that the plane are in the air, the no-fly zone is being implemented right now. i want to go to nic robertson who is standing by in tripoli. we've heard a lot of government officials talking over the last couple of hours, words of defiance. now that the planes are in the errand this no-fly zone will be operational, what is the reaction right now from tripoli? >> first reaction to president sarkozy's speech was for us to be told that there would be an imminent press conference here, no doubt with another senior government official to lay out their response to president sarkozy or put forward some other idea. so that seems to be the very latest thing that we're hearing. the government here continues to reject the u.n. security council resolution. that's a flip-flop on what they said yesterday. we're hearing from arwa damon
that things have gone quieter in benghazi. that's the way it would seem the forces here operate over the past few weeks, that they'll have an advance. they will stop, they'll start again and perhapses there e e e there's a pause here to what is being demanded of them by the international community. the tanks have been deployed over the last couple of days since the resolution came in place, gave the impression that they were playing for time, trying to get effects on the ground, take control of the last few cities that they want to get control of taken back from the rebels. but clearly at the moment, it is very, very high stakes diplomacy and pushing to the limit that the libyan government is doing. it seems in the words of president sarkozy, they're to have reached the very edge of the limit with french war planes now actually over libya. john, t.j.? >> nic, difficult to answer this question, but i'll put it to you
anyway. is there a reason to believe that the libyan regime of gadhafi will try diplomacy, it will try to engage the unit whilst at the same time pushing on with its campaign in the east? or has that door well and truly closed? >> reporter: jon, i think we can say with some certainly at the moment that the libyan government still wants international monitors here. it's still trying to create diplomatic ties with the unite in particular and with other nations that it thinks will perhaps be sympathetic. what it intends to do while it maintains those conversations is unclear, but listening to wesley clark, general wesley clark retired, just a few minutes ago during our broadcast, he outlined the difficulties that an air campaign would face here and, indeed, we don't know what's going through colonel gadhafi's mind at the moment. but certainly there appears to be calculations that an
international force wasn't ready. and as we saw during the kosovo conflict during 1999, an air force and a missile barrage that tries to stop troops on the ground, tanks, et cetera, as would prepares be the case around benghazi finds it very difficult to be effective. the inability of nato at that time to take out all the targets on the ground over a period of more than two months in the analysis after the war proved to show that air power has its limits and perhaps colonel gadhafi and his military forces will be making assessment along those lines or choosing to go along with what president sarkozy has said. >> nic, obviously, bring us that news as soon as you get it coming out of tripoli from the government spokeperson. they were talking a lot today with the word of defiance. >> we'll keep a close eye here at cnn and also cnn
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the situation in libya. we heard from frnch president nicolas sarkozy that french fight are jets are in the skies to protect the citizens of benghazi, the civilians who have been the victims of the gadhafi regime as it has moved east to reclaim territory lost during the uprising there. wolf blitzer joins us now on the line for more on this story. the situation for the united states, it finds itself in a very different situation compared to previous missions similar to this. the u.s. has made it very clear that it will be a participant in this. it will not be the leader of this campaign. why is that? >> reporter: they don't want there to be a propaganda tool for gadhafi. in other words, the united states takes the lead and u.s. f-16st and other fighter jets are immediately directly bombing targets, launching a sort of preemptive strikes against air defense systems artillery
batteries, then gadhafi might say, look, this is the united states attacking another arab and muslim country. if the french, the italians, the british, the spaniards and most importantly some arab air forces, air forces from jordan or the united arab emirates or qatar or saudi arabia, if they're involved, then it is less of a propaganda tool. the u.s. will be very significantly involved in terms of logistical support, air refueling, in terms of jamming electronic devices, whatever the libyans might have. but it will be more behind the scenes than really in front of the cameras. >> we also heard an interesting story in "the new york times" today essentially saying that president obama wanted any kind of military involvement to be a situation where it was limited to days not weeks. what is the concern that the u.s. has here? >> reporter: the major concern is what the military calls mission creep, that one thing
could lead to another. that starts off very quickly and just a very limited mission, to protect the civilians in benghazi and some of the other cities where the rebels have been assaulted and where potentially there could be huge numbers of libyan casualties. there's a great fear of atrocities by gadhafi and president obama and secretary of state clinton and others don't want that to happen on their watch. they don't want to get in an extended ground war in libya. we're in afghanistan and iraq for the past ten years, as everyone knows. they've got limited objectives. but in the end, even though they don't say it, the president's objective is regime change because gadhafi must go. he says that publicly for the last few weeks. but for this u.n.-authorized no-fly zone operation, that doesn't have the immediate objective of regime change or getting rid of gadhafi.
it's supposed to be designed to protect the civilians and to avoid a blood bath and more libyans getting killed. a delicate diplomatic answer, if you will. but when all is said and done, they're sending a powerful message to gadhafi that sooner rather than later he's going to be gone. the only question is how many libyans will die in the process. >> there's a question of who makes up the opposition. we know a lot of them have been civilians, but there's been concern about who has been involved in this uprising against gadhafi. what have you been told about that? >> reporter: there are some legitimate democrats, who are young people who are obsessed with getting some more freedom in libya. they're very -- just like their counterparts in tunisia and in egypt were, you know, their social networking sites and all that. there are others who are just haters of gadhafi. one thing i've been told is that
the u.s. doesn't really have a great handle on all of these various rebel factions, whether in benghazi or some of the other cities. it's a very disparate group. some are what we would call good guys, others maybe not such good guys. that's one of the reasons why there's a hesitancy on the part of the obama administration to support arming the rebels. they don't want a situation to develop where we're giving arms to people who in the end will turn against the united states, turn against the allies and be, you know, maybe just as bad as gadhafi, perhaps even worse. so that's one of the problems. when i pressed the u.s. ambassador susan rice yesterday and asked her what about arming the rebels and the opposition, they're running low in weapons and spare parts and everything else. she refused to say whether that was part of the deal. certainly not part of the u.n.
security council rezsolution 173 that passed thursday. it was means to help protect the civilians but didn't go as far to say as including weapons for the rebels. >> when we listen to what the french president had to say, he referred to civilians in benghazi, not civilians in other towns like zawara. they choose their words very carefully. why are they only talking about benghazi? >> reporter: that might only be sarkozy. but they're talking about other cities as well. the president yesterday he mentioned three or four other cities specifically including cities that the libyan army of gadhafi had already retaken and saying, you got to get out of these cities. this is part of the ultimatum that president obama gave
yesterday. he mentions three or four of these other places including somewhere the rebels were already defeated. but the president said they got to get out of there. so it's a direct ultimatum to gadhafi. my own sense is gadhafi and himself and probably his sons, they're living in their own world and they're not going to be heeding what the president of the united states is saying or the president of france is saying, the u.n. security council, the arab league is saying. what the hope is on the part of the these, this u.s./arab coalition that's being assembled, the hope is that the military leaders, the generals, colonels in gadhafi's regime, they'll begin to see the light and they'll say, you know what? we're on a losing team right now, and if we continue to fight for gadhafi, we're just going down and either we're going to die or there will be war crimes trials and they'll come after us. what they're hoping is to get them to split away from gadhafi
and not fight and just sort of give up, lay down their arms. we'll see if that happens. that's certainly one of the goal of what the u.s. and the nato allies and members of the arab league are trying to do, just convince the military it's over. give up, save yourselves. >> long road ahead. wolf blitzer on the phone there. thank you, wolf. 22 minutes past the hour here. i want to remind our viewers, some who might just be joining us, that that rebel stronghold in the eastern part of libya this morning. we have john king standing by on the line. did see the french president nicolas sarkozy come out of a meeting of other u.n. members and leaders in which he said and confirmed that french fighter jets are now above libyan to impose the no-fly zone. they'll do what they have to do to protect the libyan citizens.
john, thanks for hopping on the line here. we heard the french president say murderous madness of gadhafi in one sentence, but then a sentence or two later say that there's still time and that the doors of diplomacy can be opened to gadhafi if he complies. now, this doesn't sound like what we've been hearing from president obama talking more about regime change. is sarkozy speaking for president obama? >> reporter: he was speak iing because of the delicacy of the moment. he said yes, gadhafi must go, but the specificity of this military involvement including the french and the british and to a degree the united states and the united arab emirates and qatar and spain perhaps as well, the president said the goal was to get gadhafi to pull back from those cities in the east he's taken from the opposition over the last week to ten days and to stop the slaughter of civilians. the president has said gadhafi must go, but he did not say he
must go as a result of this military intervention. a french spokesman yesterday did say just that. that the goal was to stop gadhafi and allow the opposition to regroup and start the march of tripoli. that angered the white house. the arab league has endorsed this operation. the white house believes it is critical. you will see jets of the united arab emirates as part of this no-fly zone very soon i'm told and from qatar i'm told. they want gadhafi to go and the opposition to regroup, but publicly the goal of this military intervention is not regime change. they don't care if its gadhafi's propaganda machine that the west is going to come into the middle east to topple another regime. they don't want that to be a public declaration of the goal here. >> you talked about how important that message is to get out. the president had to have two different audience, if you will.
you talk about the arab nations being a part of this and certainly the xwrits doesn't want to be seen as taking the lead here. but the president, he wanted to be so clear yesterday. and he was. in saying there will be not -- you will not see any u.s. forces on the ground in libya. that is not going to happen. that message is important for the world, yes and for the united states to hear. >> reporter: this is a tough one for the president. you will within hours see him face more criticism. because the french president is speaking not for the u.s. right here. president obama again does not want -- if this is a legacy of the iraq war and legacy of afghanistan, he doesn't want people in the region to say here comes the united states again flexing military muscle. number two, the president of the united states knows how tired the american people are of the financial and the human cost, two wars over the last decade. so he wants to be part of this.
i'm told that u.s. awacs jets are part of this coordinating with the french fighter planes. i'm told that u.s. naval assets in the mediterranean are part of this and there are refueling jets there to help. they do not want u.s. offensive military involved if they can keep it that way. that's a big if. we're at a very interesting moment here. french jets over the skies over libya without, t.j. and at least not that we know of, any strikes against the surface to air missiles and the anti-aircraft batteries. secretary gates said if u.s. jets were involved, they would insist on that. because he did not want u.s. pilots put at risk. the french are taking a bet here and they're testing moammar gadhafi. and if he were to fire at those french jets, then this would take on a very, very different composition very quickly. so as we hear from president sarkozy about the first french flights, we're at a moment of testing, not just for the international coalition, but for
gadhafi as well. >> i want to explain to our viewers what you're seeing there as we talk about fighter jets over the skies. you're seeing video earlier of what is believed to be a rebel, one of the opposition fighter jets over the town of benghazi, that went down earlier today. sorry that we've been talking about fighter jets and french patrolling the skies, but what w you're seeing there is an opposition jetp. don't know how it was shot down. john king of john king usa, we appreciate you this morning. we'll take a short break. we'll still waiting for the u.s. president barack obama to make some comments on this. this is a live picture of the room where the president will be speaking. we're waiting for those comment at any moment now. he's on a five-day tour of latin america. right now in brazil. brazil one of five countries which on stained from that u.n. resolution, making this somewhat of an awkward visit for u.s. president barack obama.
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our partners at cnn international bringing you the latest developments on what has been a morning of developments in libya where we've seen the battle of benghazi appears to be taking place, the rebel stronghold in the eastern part of the country, where pro government forces have been attacking and battling with some of the rebel forces there this morning. we just saw nicolas sarkozy, the french president coming out and talking about french planes now being a part of imposing that u.n. resolution that would impose a no-fly zone over libya. and the french president saying they will take all action necessary including taking out tanks and ground forces of gadhafi's if necessary, if they see those forces trying to attack innocent libyan civilians. this all comes as president obama has said in no uncertain terms that, yes, they would like to see regime change, but that's not the point right now of this u.n. resolution and the point of the no-fly zone and action being taken by the u.n. the president is traveling right now to brazil. our ed henry is traveling with
the president today. we're standing by, are we not, ed, to hear from the president, a regularly scheduled event he was supposed to have with the brazilian president, but do we expect some comments from the president on what we're seeing in libya play out? >> reporter: we do, t.j. u.s. officials saying they expect the president to comment on the situation in libya. obviously, you mentioned he's going to be having this event in a few moments with president rousseff of brazil. they've been behind closed door. this has been delayed. one would expect and in my conversations with u.s. officials they're saying that the president has been getting information behind the scenes about what is happening over the skies of libya. we're also getting new information that the president was first briefed on the situation about these french fighter jets going over libya back at his hotel. this was more than an hour or so ago before he met for these talks with president rousseff. even while he's here in latin
america talking about trade and various economic issues, he's being briefed. he's having u.s. officials keep him on top of the situation on his own with u.s. officials, but then also with his coverings with the brazilian president. brazil is a nonpermanent member of the u.n. security council. they were there for last thursday night's vote in new york at the u.n. security council. brazil was one of just a handful of countries that abstained from the vote. they were not one of the yes votes along with u.s. and france and other. we're told by brazilian officials that's because, while they certainly want to see some sort of action taken to prevent innocent civilians in libya from being killed, continue to be killed, they are concerned, however, the brazilians are, as are some others around the world, that the u.n. resolution is written so broadly that this could go far beyond a no-fly zone, go far beyond that into wider military action. brazil one of many countries concerned about that going further. as you've been hearing and
discussing, this is also a concern of the u.s. even though they supported that resolution for the u.n. they do not want this to be a protracted military action. president obama has made that clear again and again in public and in private that there will not be any u.s. ground forces used in any sort of military action. you can hear that again from the president in a few moments. we're also expecting a press conference from secretary of state hillary clinton. she's in france on this urgent mission. she just flew from washington late last night, landed in france, went right into talks with the french president sarkozy, the british prime minister david cameron. she'll make comments as well. you can see all around the world, whether in latin america, france, back in washington, the obama administration is all over this. >> we're keeping a close eye now for our viewers, switching back and forth between several podiums. we're keeping an eye on waiting to hear from secretary of state hillary clinton and also in
brazil where you are, ed. we know the president does not want the u.s. to look like it's taking the lead in another military action of some kind. the president, does he not want to, quite frankly, come out and have to speak too much and too often about this but, frankly, he just doesn't have a choice? >> reporter: well, certainly he has to comment on it over time, but yes, he doesn't want this to be certainly the chief thing that he talks about here in latin america. we saw the same back in washington. he wants to make sure the american people realize it's business as usual for him and all these important economic issues that matter to him and the situation in japan is something he's being focused on. he can't focus on any one issue at one time. he has to juggle all of these balls at the same time. one reason you see him take less of a public role, the bottom line is the u.s. does not want
to be seen as driving further military action around the arab world. they got so much backlash after iraq, afghanistan, the u.s. wants to make it very clear from the beginning here that this is a multilateral operation and that there will be arab countries involved as well. we're hearing about the uae and others offering planes to institute this no-fly zone. that's the bottom line. on one hand the president wants to make sure he's staying on top of these other crises. but the u.s. is not driving it, there are many other nations involved here. we saw that in the u.n. vote on thursday. >> ed henry, standing by, like we all are. when that happens we'll bring it to you live. t.j., it seems that the french government is taking the lead on this along with the british prime minister david cameron. we know that french fighter jets are flying over the skies of libya. it has to be noted that france was one of the first countries
to recognize this transitional national council in benghazi as a representative of the people of libya. we've also heard that the british government is moving tornado fighter jets into position to be used in the no-fly zone. any military action in libya will be reliant on u.s. firepower as reluctant as the administration may be. barbara starr, exactly what happens from here? there's a big u.s. military presence in the region. what will they be doing? >> reporter: john, that is really the key question. because what you are seeing in these opening hours is a lot of diplomacy from various world capitals. a lot of big picture statements. but practically on the ground in the skies over libya, how does all this translate into a military operation that can really achieve what they're talking about, which is making gadhafi's forces pull back from
benghazi, pull back from the other cities they hold? you have a number of warships in the region in the mediterranean, but that's pretty significant firepower. for them to fire their missiles into libyan cities to try and affect libyan forces and avoid civilians is very problematic. you have what the french of course this morning beginning to fly their war planes. how do you, however, organize and control such a massive air operation and set a strategy that again will really achieve that objective as making gadhafi pull his forces out of the city? the u.s., as everyone has pointed out, says it's going to try to take a back seat on all of this. try to provide some command and control. jam gadhafi's communications, provide support. but make no mistake, this is now a full blown combat operation.
you don't go into these things by halves. so it's going to be very tough. two key problems on the ground in a practical sense is that command and control. pull so many countries together and really enact a strategy here and how do you target? how do you target gadhafi's forces, those tanks, those anti-aircraft, artillery pieces when they're mixed in possibly in those cities with civilian populations? the way the u.s. typically does it is they put special forces on the ground and they provide precise locations for those targets. the president is saying no u.s. forces on the ground in this operation, jon. >> also that u.n. resolution, one thing it does rule out is the presence of foreign troops on libyan soil, which essentially mens that everything has to be done with air power. as we heard from nic robertson
earlier, there's a very big limit to what air power can actually achieve. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. that's absolutely correct. if the u.s. learned anything over the years that's certainly a lesson we've learned, as the u.s. has learned as a military force in both iraq and afghanistan, haven't they? in afghanistan, we have seen the growth of a ground force in order to move against the taliban and the insurgents because it can't be done from the air. p we saw the same thing in iraq for many years. and targeting from the air into the cities, into those mixed populations, again, it's very tough. the libyan forces are soviet trained from years ago. they follow a soviet doctrine, so they engage in a lot of practices that we did see in iraq. mixing in with the cities, mixing in with populations.
how long before gadhafi potentially moves some of his military close to mosques, close to hospitals, close to those red lines where, you know, coalition forces will not bomb? he knows all of these practices. he knows what to do. and i think what one has to anticipate is in these opening hours, again, you see the great diplomatic statement on the ground, on the scene on a practical military level. it's going to get a lot tougher. it always does. >> we start talking about gadhafi moving his forces into the cities, well, arwa damon was reporting a few hours ago that benghazi has been under attack and there's also this belief that gadhafi has moved his artillery and his tanks into the streets of benghazi, which, as you say, will make it very difficult to hit if the air. then the longer this air campaign goes on, the more support gadhafi builds within
libya because he can portray this as an us against them against the foreign intervention in libya. >> i think that's right. this is the model that saddam hussein followed for so many years. as john king and wolf were saying, this is one of the reasons that the diplomatic strategy is to try to include arab nations and arab military forces in this operation, but, you know, i think most people -- most strategists probably anticipate that gadhafi and his forces will hunker down. if the resolution is to get them out of the cities, they're already there. they're already there, they're on the streets mixed in with the civilians. >> very quickly. have we heard anything else about what arab nations will take part in this? qatar, the uae, maybe jordan, that doesn't seem like a very
significant presence. >> you know, the arab nations militarily have a long tradition of staying very quiet about what their plans are and especially if they go act in other countrieses. we are already seeing some other forces, of course, move into bahrain and try to help them with their situation. so there's going to be a lot of caution in the arab league. again, the statements, their diplomacy, sending forces and putting them at risk in the skies over libya, that remains to be seen as who does actually take to the skies. >> barbara starr, thank you. we're standing by for comments, two live press conferences to take place or statements we're expecting to gt from the u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton who has been in paris this morning. you see that on the right side of the screen there. there's where a top level meeting took place a little earlier in paris including the
french president and including the secretary of state and others as they discussed trying to put into place and enforce that u.n. resolution that would put into place a no-fly zone. expecting to hear from her soon. also expecting to hear from president obama. u.s. president obama who is on a three-nation latin trip right now. but in brazil, expecting -- this was already a planned event. he was supposed to come out and make some comments with the brazilian president, but now this has taken on a new urgency, if you will. many people expecting him to make comments about what we have been seeing play out in libya over the past several hours, even the past several weeks, in fact. we're standing by for both of those live events. we saw president sarkozy talking about his country's role now. >> translator: today the leaders
of the league of arab states, the european union, u.s. met in paris, france, and the u.n. secretary-general. today we have decided to ensure the application of the security council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire and an end to violence against civil populations in libya. participants agreed to use all the necessary means, in particular military means, to enforce the security council decisions. this is why in agreement with our partners, our air force will oppose any aggression by colonel gadhafi against the population of benghazi.
as of now, our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town. as of now, other french aircraft are ready to intervene against tanks, armored vehicles threatening unarmed civilians. as of yesterday, france, the united kingdom, the united states and arab countries sent colonel dpad aef and the forces he's using the following warning. if there is not an immediate cease-fire and withdraw of the forces that have been attacking civilian populations in the last few weeks, our countrieses will have to resort to other means. colonel gadhafi has totally
ignored this warnwarning. in the last few hours, his forces have stepped up their deadly offensives. arab peoples have chosen to free themselves from the enslavement in which they have feltp tr tra for too long. these revolts have given rise to great hopes in the hearts of all those who share the values of democracy and human rights. but they're not without risk. the future of these arab peoples belongs to them. amidst the many different difficulty and ordeals they must confront, these arab peoples need our help and support, and it is our duty to provide it. in libya, a peaceful civilian
population demanding nothing more than the right to choose its own destiny is in mortal danger. it is our duty to respond to their anguished appeal. the future of libya belong to the libyans. we do not seek to decide for th them. their fight for freedom is theirs. our intervention alongside arab peoples is not with a few to imposing any specific outcome on them but in the name of the universal conscience that will not tolerate such crimes. today we are intervening in libya under a united nations security council mandate alongside our partners, in particular, our arab partners. we're doing this in order to
protect the civilian from the madness of a regime that, by killing his own people, has forfeited all legitimacy. we're intervening in order to enable the libyan people to choose its own destiny. it must not be deprived of it d. there is still time for colonel gadhafi to avoid the worst. by complying immediately and unreservedly with all the demands of the international community. the doors of diplomacy will open once again when the aggression stops. our determination is total. i say this with all solemnity. all those concerned must now face up to their responsibilities.
it is a grave decision that we have come to take. alongside its arab partners, european partners, north american partners, france is resolved to shoulder its role before history. thank you. >> that is the french president speaking there a short time ago in paris after a decision was made to enforce that no-fly zone. we are still waiting for u.s. president barack obama to come out and make a statement on libya. >> and when that happens we'll bring that to you live. we'll try to get in a quick break here, and when the president -- let me stay for just a second. i see a little movement, people coming out of that room here, but he is of course on his tour of latin america now. we'll try to sneak in a quick break, but when the president steps out, we'll bring that to you live.
every time the thunder takes the floor, the home crowd cheers. not just for the team, but also for the remarkable transformation it represents. >> i love what i've seen. it's been great. it's been great. >> reporter: for almost two decades through targeted use of a voter approved one-cent sales tax, oklahoma city has been rebuilding itself with a new ballpark, new attractions, refurbished entertainment centers, museums, schools and more. >> we're creating a city where your kid and grand kid is zbg to want to live. the past paradigm has been that people went to where the jobs were. and what i believe is that in the future, the people are going to go to the cities where they want to live, and the jobs are going to follow the people. >> reporter: the acquisition of the thunder three years ago was a milestone in the process of making a place to live, and a
coup for this town that is one of the smallest of nba team, made possible in large part because that same tax money was used to build an arena, with no loans to hang over the profit-making potential of the new franchise. >> there's no debt on the building. it's paid for. >> reporter: that's pretty unusual. >> extremely unusual. >> reporter: thunder coach scott brooks calls it teamwork. >> it's important that we all get behind each others' endeavors. >> so today, oklahoma city -- >> welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. u.s. president barack obama now just stepping up to the podium there, he's on a visit to brazil. part of his trib to latin america. he will make some comment is it's expected about the no-fly zone which is now being enforced over libya by french fighter jets. [speaking in a foreign language]
[speaking in a foreign language] . >> this is the brazilian president dilma rousseff greeting president obama. this of course could be a very awkward visit to brazil for the u.s. president, brazil abstained from the resolution, they complained it was in fact way too broad. >> and awkward image here, this trip certainly didn't know things would play out the way they did, but these two leaders trying to have partnerships in the economies of the world, trade and partnerships in the world, and clearly these two standing, there's a bit of a difference of opinion when it comes to at least libya. we're working here to try to get the translation for many of our viewers, so we apologize for that. when we get it up, we'll have it for you, but still many people waiting to hear what the president is going to say. he has to say something, many would say, about what we're seeing in libya now. >> this has been a stunning turn around when it comes to libya. there has been this deep reluctance for many weeks to get
involved in the situation in libya. libya was not seen as a strategic company apart from the oil reserves but that was not seen as a vital interest to the u.s., but suddenly this week there were signs that the position was changing and then of course the stunning u.n. vote on thursday. you have to go back 20 years before the first gulf war to see a resolution with that much teeth also being supported by the arab league as well. >> you talk about the teeth that that resolution has, at the same time we're watching a woman here, head of a country that says it was just a little too broad and a little too far reaching and we had five countries at least abstain on that security council who did not want to participate, if you will, but passed, the ten nations that did vote. but also you talked about the u.s. reluctance to get involved in what was happening in libya. certainly don't want to take the lead, but they have been very, as diplomats always are, very careful in their language. the president has come out and made some statements. the u.s. president, obama,
making statements that, yes, we would like to see regime change in libya, but that's not the point of the action that this u.n. resolution is taking or this what is in fact now military action in libya as military jets, french jets, are flying right now trying to impose that no-fly zone. but at the same time, how much can it really do? we've had that discussion today as well. there's only so much you can do from the skies. and they have said clearly, not going to be any foreign troops on the ground. >> there's a lot of feeling out there when you talk with our correspondents, arwa damon and ben wedeman who have been with the rebel forces in the east, there is a feeling there amongst these opposition groups that somehow this no-fly zone will be a magic bullet, that somehow all of their problems will be solved. if only they could get this no-fly zone in place. but the experts tell you that it's just not that simple. elise labott is standing by as we wait for the u.s. president to speak, and, elise, this has been a very difficult time for
the state department, not just in the last couple of days, but certainly the last few weeks. >> well, john, the truth is that they really don't know that much about libya. as you remember, the u.s. only kind of restored ties with moammar gadhafi in 2005 after he settled that lockerbie case. they really don't know the lay of the land in libya and that's the problem with the opposition. they really don't know who is in this opposition. there are tribal leaders, there's former military officials. there is a concern that there are some rebels that have some extremist tendencies. so they've really been trying to not only figure out who's in the opposition, but as we've been talking about all morning, how the u.n. really wants to play this. they really want the arabs to, as the one official said, to have a skin in the game. it's not only about the united states kind of not taking the lead here, but the arabs said, they said they supported this u.n. resolution, they supported a no-fly zone. the u.s. wants to say, okay, you have to put your money where your mouth is. you say you support it, you don't -- we